Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats

riders came just at dusk when men were at supper and ex-
pected no danger.

Some of the larger growers sold their crops, half cured and
hanging in the barns, to the companies, and the companies
undertook to guard the barns. One gang of hired guards was
surprised, half drunk at its post, and the men were whipped,
dragged through a creek, and left lying, bound and gagged,
by the roadside. The barns which they had been supposed
to guard were burned. The night riders exchanged shots
with another gang, and two men, under cover of the firing
that drove the guards back to the protection of a cedar fence-
row, galloped by the barn and Hung two charges of dynamite
against the wall. Galloping past the barn, they had lighted
the fuses from cigars which they held clamped in their teeth.
The charges blew in one wall of the barn, and the curing
fires in the barn ignited the tobacco.

It was reported that one man, a Mr. Sanderson of the New
Bethany community, had been burned to death in his barn,
or had been shot and flung into the flames. He had, his
wife said, left the house with his shotgun to guard his barn,
as he had been accustomed to do for some time. But after
the burning of the barn he had not appeared. His wife had
run to the spot where the flames still rose, calling his name,
and then, when there was no answer, she had run frantically
and stumblingly across the fields to the nearest house, where
there was a telephone. Men had come back with her to
stand aimlessly before the glowing mass where the barn had
been or to wander about the fields calling the man's name.
The next day, when the ashes had cooled enough, they
began the process of sifting to find what might remain of the
body. They found nothing but the twisted metal which had
apparently been the barrel of the shotgun. The body, it was
assumed, had been completely destroyed.

But Mr, Sanderson was not dead. He was found two weeks
later, seventy-five miles away, over toward the central part
of the state. Some boys out possum-hunting found him
cowering in a thicket. His clothes were in tatters and he was